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Hey, Manhattan! Your St. Patrick’s Day Parade Can Suck It!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, which is a pretty big deal amongst the drinking set. No other holiday lives up to the stereotype quite like St. Patrick’s Day. Well done, Irish people.

Most New Yorkers already know that the main St. Patrick’s Day parade – the one in Manhattan that goes right by St. Patrick’s Cathedral – doesn’t allow any gay people to march. A court ruling upheld the prejudice a few years ago on the grounds that the parade is run by a private entity and therefore had the right to do whatever it wanted.

Beginning 11 years ago, my neighborhood, which has a large Irish community, started hosting the St. Pat’s For All parade, usually a couple of weeks before the big, bigoted one on the holiday itself. I went to one of the first St. Pat’s For All parades back in the early aughts, but hadn’t been for quite some time.

Oh, yes, B&E; readers… It really is “for all.” And it really is a good time, as the photos will demonstrate.

Lest you think it’s just another gay pride parade, let’s kick things off with a photo of the bagpipes. Bagpipes! Never mind that bagpipes are Scottish; they feature prominently at any good St. Patrick’s Day parade, even the ones that include the gays. And why not? The pipers are men in skirts!

There were probably a good half dozen or more LGBTQ, etc. groups marching in the parade, but this one had the best banner:

God may have made this dude queer, but being a pirate is a choice.

In case you didn’t notice, that’s a live parrot on his head. I’ve actually seen this particular pirate outside of Mets games. He is not easily forrrrrrrrrrrrrrgotten.

Perhaps the single biggest thrill of the day was when NY1′s very own Roger Clark came to a stop right in front of us. The missus and I complimented him until he was appropriately embarrassed. He may have also felt a little threatened by our zeal. But look, B&E; readers! Roger Clark is happy to see me!

These African American and Latino Irish dancers from P.S. 59 in the Bronx have gotten some national recognition. But only because they’re fucking awesome.

The Rude Mechanical Orchestra made some fun music as they strode by. They were, as you might expect, heavy on the trombone.

The Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats really stress the “independent” in their name.

The biggest hit of the St. Pat’s For All parade every year is SUDS, the Sunnyside United Dog Society. It’s true. They are united.

Except this poor bastard who lagged behind just a bit. I think he was drunk.

Those of you planning a trip to Sunnyside should make sure your visit coincides with the St. Pat’s For All parade. I didn’t even see any barfing, and I’m guessing that’s not something Manhattan’s prejudiced St. Patrick’s Day parade will be able say. They’ll be heavy on the barfing and light on the queers. What the hell kind of parade are they running in there?

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